The role of learner subjectivity and korean English language learners’ pragmatic choices

Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 10 (1):117-146 (2014)
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The main goal of this study was to identify factors motivating pragmatic transfer in advanced learners of English. Based on a cross-cultural comparison of requesting behavior between Koreans and Americans, this study determined the impact of individual subjective motives on pragmatic language choice. Two different groups of subjects participated in this study: 30 Korean participants and 30 American college students. Data were collected by using a Discourse Completion Task. Korean participants provided the data for Korean and English versions of DCT. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with 13 Korean ESL learners who showed the most and least amount of pragmatic transfer. Findings showed evidence of pragmatic transfer in the request responses given by Korean ESL learners in their requestive strategies, level of directness, and perspectives of head acts. The interview data revealed that Korean students were conscious of differing rules for making requests. Learners’ judgment of L2 pragmatic norms, perception of their own language, and their attitudes of the target language influence language use. Furthermore, findings showed that purpose of learning English, different types of motivation, and the length of intended residence contribute to the extent of pragmatic transfer



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